By Vyacheslav Tetekin, Dr.Sc. (History), Member of the CC CPRF
Many comrades are asking about the nature of Russia’s actions in Ukraine as the prevalent assessments so far have been mostly imposed by the Western media. However, by now the character of the Russian Army operation to liberate Ukraine from Nazism is becoming clearer.
What prompted the operation
Starting from December, 2021 Russia had been receiving information about NATO’s plans to deploy troops and missile bases in Ukraine. Simultaneously an onslaught on the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR) was being prepared. About a week before the start of Russia’s operation the plan was uncovered of an offensive that envisaged strikes by long-range artillery, multiple rocket launchers, combat aircraft, to be followed by an invasion of Ukrainian troops and Nazi battalions. It was planned to cut off Donbass from the border with Russia, encircle and besiege Donetsk, Lugansk and other cities and then carry out a sweeping “security cleanup” with imprisonment and killing of thousands of defenders of Donbass and their supporters.
The plan was developed in cooperation with NATO. The invasion was scheduled to begin in early March. Russia’s action pre-empted Kiev and NATO, which enabled it to seize strategic initiative and effectively save thousands of lives in the two republics.
The character of combat actions
1. The aim of the Russian army is not to occupy territory or seize economic and natural resources. It is a political war. Ukraine under the US-backed Neo-Nazi regime was turning into a NATO base for attacking Russia. It is incumbent on our country to ensure its security. The military operation is essentially aimed at forcing the Ukrainian leadership to enter into negotiations on demilitarization, denazification and a neutral status for Ukraine.
2. The second goal is to protect the citizens of historically Russian Lugansk and Donetsk regions which have refused to live under the Neo-Nazi regime which came to power as a result of a state coup in February, 2014. It is basically a civil war between two parts of one and the same people.
3. Not everyone knows that much of the fighting is conducted not by the Russian army, but by the forces of the people’s republics of Eastern Ukraine (DPR and LPR). The citizens of Donbass created their own army back in 2014. They are fighting for the independence of their “small motherland” whose citizens were in danger of being deprived by the West Ukrainian Neo-Nazis of the right to speak their native Russian language. The core of the LNP and DNP armed forces are the workers from the mines of Donbass – one of the world largest producers of the anthracite coal.
4. In reality the Russian army is conducting military operations only in the predominantly Russian-speaking eastern and southern parts of Ukraine. These are Russian regions which were included in the territory of Ukraine in 1918 after Bolshevik Revolution in order to strengthen its industrial base. They had never been historically part of Ukraine. The Russian army is operating in these Russian-speaking regions and not in Central and Western Ukraine which are ethnically different.
5. As part of “demilitarizing” Ukraine the Russian army is consistently destroying its military infrastructure. Strikes were delivered on airfields and landing strips to prevent NATO arms supplies; on air defense systems, radar stations, stores of weapons, ammunition and fuel. But destroying Ukrainian army personal is emphatically not the aim. Given the immense firepower of the Russian army it would be easy to wipe out all the Ukrainian Forces strongpoints along with their defenders. But this aim had never been set because of the genetic kinship of our peoples. We are fraternal peoples. Brothers may quarrel and even fight. It happened more than once over the course of our history. But seeking to destroy each other is unacceptable for us.
6. The state of the Ukrainian Army. It would be wrong to claim that Ukraine is weak and defenseless. During the USSR times the concentration of Soviet troops on the Ukrainian territory was the strongest in Europe. In 1991 the Soviet Army split up into the Russian and Ukrainian armies. Ukraine kept gigantic quantities of military hardware – thousands of tanks, planes, artillery pieces, and huge ammunition dumps. Although the greater part of this weaponry was sold abroad to conflict zones, Ukraine has no need for arms supplies. Until February, 2022 the Ukrainian army was considered to be the sixth strongest army in Europe after Spain, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and France. Ukraine’s land forces are practically equal in strength to Russia’s.
After the February 2014 state coup the new pro-Nazi authorities, even despite the economic disarray, funneled money into beefing up its army. The aim was not to protect Ukraine from external aggression, but to prepare to regain control over Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics by military means. The most combat–capable forces trained by NATO instructors – more than 120,000 army regulars and Nazi battalions – were poised to attack Donbass.
Kiev was actively supported in preparing the invasion by the USA and other NATO countries. It received hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase arms, instructors came to train its army and Ukrainian military personnel studied at Western military schools. The West’s aim was not merely to back Kiev in its effort to suppress Donbass. The main aim was to turn Ukraine into a springboard for NATO attack on Russia and Ukrainean army into a force that would spearhead this attack. US servicemen are directly involved in hostilities in Ukraine. On March 17 the forces of the DPR which seized a Ukrainian Army post in Donbass discovered the bodies and documents of three US Army officers.
7. Of particular concern is the fact that the Ukrainian leadership has de facto committed itself to obtaining weapons of mass destruction. With US help 30 biological labs created on Ukrainian territory have been conducting research into lethal diseases and methods of spreading them. Kiev has been speaking about creating the nuclear weapon on the basis of Ukrainian nuclear power plants and its scientific and technical potential. All this poses a threat not only to Russia but to the whole world.
8. Different tactics. In entering cities the Russian army tries its best to avoid civilian casualties and to spare civilian infrastructure, in marked contrast to the Americans who within a few days suppressed an uprising in Iraq’s Falluja by wiping out the city. Fifty thousand people died. Such thing is unimaginable for the Russian army.
The army of Ukraine and the Nazi battalions have different tactics. Most of their soldiers come from Western Ukraine and they despise the Russian-speaking inhabitants of the Eastern part of the country as second-rate Ukrainians. Accordingly, they do not consider it a crime to kill civilians and destroy the civil infrastructure in Eastern Ukraine. They position their troops not in an open field but in residential areas of cities. They set up firing positions in residential blocks, schools and hospitals And it is not a dirty game of some mad field commanders. This is a tactical method formulated in official instructions. This is happening on daily basis in the cities which the Ukrainian army and Nazi battalions claim to defend. They are eagerly using “human shields” of their own compatriots to protect themselves. This is an outrages Nazi tactics.
All this is being done in order to make the Russian army avoid striking military targets located in residential blocks, or to accuse Russia of war crimes. While retreating the Nazi battalions use the “scorched earth” tactics: they destroy the civilian infrastructure, above all blowing up bridges. The Nazi often stage hideous provocations blowing up residential houses in order to accuse the Russian army.
9. The Western media and politicians praise the staunch resistance of the Ukrainian army. But they omit an important detail. A large part of the Ukrainian army is made up by forty Neo-Nazi battalions notorious for their ferocity. The SS divisions were the hardest fighters in the German army during the 1941-1945 war. The Nazi battalions in Ukraine today are the same SS units. They are indoctrinated, motivated and they have been prepared for war against Donbass and against Russia for eight full years being educated in the spirit of hatred for all things Russian.
10. The world cannot believe that Fascism has again sprung up in the very heart of Europe. Yet it is worth recalling that respectable Germans who had given the world some of its greatest poets, philosophers and musicians, within eight years between 1933 and 1941 turned into a nation which exterminated in gas chambers, burned alive, hanged and shot tens of millions of Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians and Jews. The same is happening in Ukraine where Neo-Nazi propaganda indoctrinated people for 8 year since 2014.
Incidentally, those who today are shouting loudest about the suffering of Ukraine’s population – Poland and the Baltic countries – bear the heaviest responsibility for the Holocaust. Not only the Germans, but to a large extent the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians were exterminating their Jewish neighbors.
After the Second World War the countries that had fought on Hitler’s side conducted a policy of denazification. The decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal which condemned Fascism and its leaders, and the experience of cooperation of the international community in the struggle against that evil remain relevant to this day.